and then we weren’t (in business)
Late last year my sister-in-law and I opened up a shop. In a matter of weeks we went from visualizing our idea to finding an affordable place to rent, scrambling to furnish and decorate on the cheap, and opening up for business. Our concept was simple: elegant appetizers, sparkling wine, a few shelves to display some small-batch products. In the end, it turned out to be too simple a concept.
Our intention was always to essentially “speed date” our concept with this peculiar market, and it turned out the average Joe in these here parts didn’t get too jazzed about sparking wine, pates and other fun appetizers. We also were quick to learn that people don’t love Mason Jars here like in other parts. Who doesn’t love Mason Jars??? I know. It’s shocking.
In a bigger city or with a different profile of locals, perhaps a place to stop in for a fun snack and a mimosa would fly, but not here. We pretty much knew going in how finicky the San Cristobal market can be, as evidenced by the crazily high number of shops and restaurant that open and close every month, but the risk seemed pretty low and we blindly jumped in with both feet. And closed 8 months later.
We experimented with shifting our hours and played around with some things on our menu. We had a few loyal customers and several transient tourists who loved our concept and product, but they were the type who left town the following day. After our initial six month lease was up, our landlady encouraged us to stay through the summer on a month-to-month arrangement to see how things went and so we did, but it was pretty clear that unless we wanted to make a dramatic shift to our concept (ie. more booze & cheaper booze), it was time to get out while the getting out was still good(ish). SanCris is a late night kind of town and neither Tania nor I wanted to transition into a late night, bar kind of place.
And so, just about as quickly as we threw things together, we dismantled, sold and split things up between our two households. It’s almost as if it never happened.
The little shop we adored at first, and then tried so hard to love, and later loved to hate, was laid to rest in August, 2015. Another quirky chapter in life closed, although the idea of having a store is still very much of interest. We shall see.